The course of true love never did run smooth…

Here’s another one of these amazingly in-depth book titles from my ‘dusty old book project’

The virtuous milk-maid’s garland, containing a choice collection of new songs. I. Giving an Account how a ’squire fell in Love with a young Milk-Maid, with an Account of the ’squire and the Milk-Maid’s walking in the Field together; shewing the ’squire’s Rudeness, and what happen’d after. II. How the Milk-Maid left him for dead in the Fields, by a Wound she gave him with his Sword for his Lewdness: After his Wound was drest and no Danger appeared, he sent for the Milk-Maid and commended her for what she had done; and set the Day he would marry her, which was done to both their Satisfactions, …

[Newcastle upon Tyne?, s.n., 1765?]

And the winner is… The sad history of the Faculty Mummy

Once upon a time, a long time ago (660-330 BC, to be slightly more precise) a man lived, died and was mummified in ‘late period’ Egypt. Sadly that is all we currently know about this person, but death was only the beginning of his story…

WordPress annual stats declared this to be my most popular post of 2015. I thought I’d celebrate by posting it again! Click here to read the whole story

A briefe chronicle…

I’m currently involved in a project that requires me to check holdings against the English Short Title Catalogue. I’m finding some amusement among the titles of these old works.

Today’s first category is: Most ambitious title in an original monograph. And the winner is…

A briefe chronicle, of the successe of times, from the creation of the world, to this instant· Containing, the originall & liues of our ancient fore-fathers, before and after the Floude, as also, of all the monarchs, emperours, kinges, popes, kingdomes, common-weales, estates and gouernments, in most nations of this worlde: and how in alteration, or succession, they haue continued to this day. by Anthony Munday,

Printed by W. Iaggard, printer to the Honourable Citty of London, and are to be sold at his house in Barbican, 1611.

…and in the category Most exposition crammed into one title, the winner is:

Monro his expedition vvith the vvorthy Scots Regiment (called Mac-Keyes Regiment) levied in August 1626. by Sr. Donald Mac-Key Lord Rhees, colonell for his Majesties service of Denmark, and reduced after the Battaile of Nerling, to one company in September 1634. at Wormes in the Paltz. Discharged in severall duties and observations of service; first under the magnanimous King of Denmark, during his warres against the Emperour; afterward, under the invincible King of Sweden, during his Majesties life time; and since, under the Directour Generall, the Rex-chancellor Oxensterne and his generalls. Collected and gathered together at spare-houres, by Colonell Robert Monro … for the use of all worthie cavaliers favouring the laudable profession of armes. To which is annexed the abridgement of exercise, and divers practicall observations, for the younger officer his consideration; ending with the souldiers meditations going on service. by Robert Monro

Printed by William Iones in Red-Crosse streete, 1637.

…and finally. For Title most likely to encourage readers towards sin rather than away from it, today’s winner is, most definitely:

Histrio-mastix. The players scourge, or, actors tragædie, divided into two parts. Wherein it is largely evidenced, by divers arguments, by the concurring authorities and resolutions of sundry texts of Scripture; … That popular stage-playes … are sinfull, heathenish, lewde, ungodly spectacles, and most pernicious corruptions; condemned in all ages, as intolerable mischiefes to churches, to republickes, to the manners, mindes, and soules of men. And that the profession of play-poets, of stage players; together with the penning, acting, and frequenting of stage-playes, are unlawfull, infamous and misbeseeming Christians. All pretences to the contrary are here likewise fully answered; and the unlawfulnes of acting of beholding academicall enterludes, briefly discussed; besides sundry other particulars concerning dancing, dicing, health-drinking, &c. of which the table will informe you. By William Prynne, an vtter-barrester of Lincolnes Inne. by Prynne, William

Printed by E. A[llde]. [Thomas Cotes, Augustine Mathewes,] and W[illiam]. I[ones]. for Michael Sparke, and are to be sold at the Blue Bible, in Greene Arbour, in little Old Bayly, 1633.

New logo – new look

I’ve been working on a new look for the SWOP Forum site (and experimenting with polling)

SWOP Forum

The Business Committee has decided, for a number of reasons, to change the SWOP logo to something simpler and cleaner. Due to the relative starkness of the new logo I felt it necessary to change the theme of this website at the same time.

The theme I originally chose was called, aptly enough, ‘Plane’:

SWOP - Plane theme blog theme – Plane

At Wednesday’s meeting I received some useful feedback on this theme. The two main points were: the banner is far too large (which is true – the screen is really just made of banner); and the menu bar is almost unnoticeable up at the top of the screen. Following this I’ve been investigating new themes today. I tried out a few before settling on this one. It’s called Sequential:

SWOP - Sequential theme blog theme – Sequential

I really like this. It’s clean and unfussy, elegant and professional. It echoes the simplicity of the new logo but has a…

View original post 57 more words

RLS music recital – a final mention

The RLS recital got a mention in the Faculty News this month (with a picture!). I’m the wee nervous looking one in the middle…

Faculty News - February 2015

Faculty News – February 2015

A Very Fine Library is now on Tumblr…

… if you’re into that sort of thing…

I’m liking the vintage paperback stylee I chose for the page. And there are certainly many pretty pics to look at over there.

Does anyone else use Tumblr regularly? What are your thoughts on the platform?

A Very Fine Library vs the Grammar Nazis!

I posted the above pic on Facebook earlier today because I felt a bit disheartened. I’ve spent a chunk of this week posting, editing and generally primping a three-part series of pieces by Edinburgh’s Makar for the ELISA website. I admit I feel pretty proud of those posts. I contacted the current Makar and asked her to write something for ELISA and she obliged, pics and all! It feels like a bit of a coup.

The first part went live on Wednesday but, so far, the only feedback I’ve received was a notification that there’s a “Wee Typing Error in the Post”. I don’t know what or where. I made a joking response but the nitpicking stung me somewhat. It’s a longish post, full of interesting information, images and poetry – but all someone thought to say was “Typo!”


Incidentally, I joke about this sort of thing but I increasingly experience it as a kind of online bullying. Though my grammar is good, I’ve never been a great speller – thank the gods for spellchecker! Even so, I always feel compelled to check and double-check everything I post because I know the tiniest error will be picked up and pointed out by some ‘helpful’ soul. It’s nerve-wracking.

I honestly don’t understand why they do it. As Angry Puffin up there says, as long as your point gets across, what does it matter? People can be as precise (and anal) with their own writing as they wish – but what makes them think they have the right to correct others?

Angry Puffin says “pretentious and idiotic”. I say “bullying and oppressive”.

It’s different if someone asks to be corrected of course. A learner or someone trying to improve their language skills. I have an Italian friend who sometimes seeks advise on english-grammarly things. Also, I’m learning gaelic so welcome input on word order and suchlike in that language.

As far as english goes though, I’m not asking. While I’m writing I relish the flow and play of words. The odd typo, here and there, won’t cause the sky to fall. I endlessly footle with my posts in any case so I’m likely to pick up errors in time. And if not, so what?

Grammar Nazis and Spelling Fascists – D’you think these terms came about by accident? You may actually think you’re being helpful but folk wouldn’t call you nazis if they enjoyed what you’re doing. A lot of folk probably just find you irritating but I’m sure there are others, like me, who find your criticisms upsetting or oppressive.

Please think before you correct. Thank you.